Associate Vice President
Areas of expertise: Oceans Programs, renewing fisheries, catch shares
Heather Paffe oversees the oceans program’s regional work around the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. Her team focuses on market-based solutions to improve fishery management, in order to rebuild struggling fish populations and restore healthy, productive fisheries and ecosystems. Heather has specific expertise in management, strategic planning, legislation, politics and policy.
Since joining Environmental Defense Fund in 2008 as Director of the Gulf and Southeast Oceans Program, Heather has led her team to several important victories, including approval of a catch share plan for the largest commercial reef fishery in the Gulf of Mexico, grouper and tilefish.
Along with her duties at EDF, Heather currently serves on the Governing Board for the California Fisheries Fund, a nonprofit revolving loan fund that helps fishermen in sustainable fisheries on the West Coast.
Heather was Director of the Gulf and Southeast Oceans program for EDF from 2008 to 2011, overseeing significant progress in the region. Prior to that, she was Director of the Texas Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates (2002-2007). She launched its statewide public affairs office in 2002 and in 2007, won Planned Parenthood Federation of America's first-ever national public affairs award for creativity, innovation and success in a legislative session.
She has also served as a political and policy consultant for a variety of organizations, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and United Ways of Texas.
Prior to this, Heather served as Texas Director of the Children's Defense Fund and the '98 Project. She has managed political campaigns and worked for the Texas General Land Office and two of Texas' Lieutenant Governors.
Heather completed the Leadership Texas Program in 2000 and earned a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.